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Course overview

How do government economic policies affect us? What drives inflation and interest rates? How can using mathematical models help tackle unemployment? Our BSc Mathematics and Economics explores these questions and more.

The course is run jointly with the School of Economics. In your first year, by studying core mathematics modules, you will develop your skills in problem solving, high-level numeracy and analytical thinking. Economics is introduced on both micro and macro scales. You can then specialise through optional modules in both subjects in the second and third years. This flexibility allows you to focus more on microeconomics, macroeconomics or econometrics after the first year, depending on your preferences.

You will be supported with the step up to university maths through our peer mentoring programme and be surrounded by like-minded students who are passionate about maths and the role it plays in today's economies.

Why choose this course?

  • Flexible course structure with optional modules in second and third year
  • Help with first-year topics through the Peer-Assisted Study Support programme (PASS) run by like-minded maths students
  • Ranked 9th in the UK for economics (The Complete University Guide 2020)
  • Study abroad in countries such as Australia, Canada or the USA
  • No prior study of economics is required
  • Paid research internship opportunities
  • Optional work placement year available

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer A*AA/AAA
Required subjects

At least A in A level mathematics. Required grades depend on whether A/AS level further mathematics is offered.

IB score IB 36; 6 in maths at Higher Level

A level

Standard offer

A*AA including A* Mathematics

or

AAA including Mathematics and Further Mathematics

or

AAA including Mathematics, plus A in AS Further Mathematics

 

A level General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies are not accepted.

GCSEs

English 4 (C) (or equivalent)

University admissions tests

STEP/MAT/TMUA is not required but may be taken into consideration when offered.

Contextual offers

A Levels - AAB including A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics

This type of offer is given to students who meet our contextual admissions or elite athlete criteria.

Find out more about contextual offers at University of Nottingham

Alternative qualifications

In all cases we require applicants to have at least the equivalent of A level Mathematics, so we typically only accept alternative qualifications when combined with an appropriate grade in A level Mathematics.

Foundation progression options

If you don't meet our entry requirements there is the option to study the engineering and physical sciences foundation programme. If you satisfy the progression requirements (85% in the maths modules) you can progress to the Mathematics and Economics joint honours course.

Find out more: Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate.

Other foundation year programmes are considered individually, but you must have studied maths at an advanced level (up to A-level standard).

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Problem classes

How you will be assessed

You will be given a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how your work is assessed. Your work will be marked in a timely manner and you will receive regular feedback. The pass mark for each module is 40%.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained for your second and subsequent years of study. Year two is worth 33% with year three worth 67%.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

The course is a joint honours degree jointly offered by the School of Mathematical Sciences and the School of Economics.

The majority of modules are worth 10 or 20 credits. You will study modules totalling 120 credits in each year. As a guide one credit equates to approximately 10 hours of work. During the first year, you will typically receive 15 hours per week contact time. This will be split between lectures, problem classes, tutorials, computer lab sessions and student-led academic mentoring. The remaining time will be spent doing independent study.

The breakdown of study time in subsequent years will be subject to module selection.

During term time in your first year you will meet with your personal tutor every week in groups of 5-6 maths students to run through core topics. Economics tutorials typically include groups of 12 to 18 students. Lectures in the first year often include at least 250 students but class sizes are much more variable in the second and third years subject to module selection.

Core modules are typically delivered by a mixture of Professors, Associate Professors and Lecturers, supported by PhD students in problem classes and computer lab sessions.

Study abroad

You can apply to spend a period of time studying abroad (usually one semester) through the University-wide exchange programme.

Students who choose to study abroad are more likely to achieve a first-class degree and earn more on average than students who did not (Gone International:Rising Aspirations report 2016/17).

Benefits of studying abroad

  • Explore a new culture
  • A reduction in tuition fee of up to 30% for the year in which you study abroad
  • Improve your communication skills, confidence and independence

Countries you could go to:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China (teaching is in English)
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore (teaching is in English)
  • Spain
  • USA

To study abroad you need to achieve a 60% average mark at the time of application. A good academic reference and personal statement  should be provided as part of the application process.

The marks gained overseas will count back to your Nottingham degree programme.

Year in industry

A placement year can improve your employability.

A report by High Fliers in 2019 found that over a third of recruiters who took part in their research said that graduates who have no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process for their graduate programmes.

You can apply to do a placement year between years two and three. This would add an extra year to your degree. You'll pay a reduced tuition fee for this year.

Although it is your responsibility to find a placement, you'll have help from the school and the Careers and Employability Service. It could be in the UK or abroad. While on placement, you'll be supported by a Placement Tutor.

If you are interested in spending a year in industry as part of your named degree,  find out more at  BSc Mathematics with a Year in Industry

Modules

Two thirds of the first year is devoted to mathematics and the remainder of the year to economics.

Core modules

Analytical and Computational Foundations

The idea of proof is fundamental to all mathematics. We’ll look at mathematical reasoning using techniques from logic to deal with sets, functions, sequences and series.

This module links directly with your study in Calculus and Linear Mathematics. It provides you with the foundations for the broader area of Mathematical Analysis. This includes the rigorous study of the infinite and the infinitesimal.

You will also learn the basics of computer programming. This will give you the chance to use computational algorithms to explore many of the mathematical results you’ll encounter in your core modules.

Your study will include:

  • propositional and predicate logic; set theory, countability
  • proof: direct, indirect and induction
  • sequences and infinite series (convergence and divergence)
  • limits and continuity of functions
  • programming in Python
Calculus

How do we define calculus? How is it used in the modern world?

The concept can be explained as the mathematics of continuous change. It allows us to analyse motion and change in time and space.

You will cover techniques for differentiating, integrating and solving differential equations. You’ll learn about the theorems which prove why calculus works. We will explore the theory and how it can be applied in the real world.

Your study will include:

  • functions: limits, continuity and differentiability, rules of differentiation
  • techniques for integration, fundamental theorem of calculus
  • solution of linear and nonlinear differential equations
  • multivariate calculus, Lagrange multipliers, stationary points
  • multiple integrals, changes of variables, Jacobians

This module gives you the mathematical tools required for later modules which involve modelling with differential equations. These include:

  • mathematical physics
  • mathematical medicine and biology
  • scientific computation
Introduction to Economics

The first semester provides an introduction to microeconomics, including behaviour of firms and households in situations of competitive and imperfectly competitive markets. The second semester provides an introduction to macroeconomics.

Macroeconomics is the study of the aggregate economy, focusing on the cyclical pattern of aggregate output and co-movement of real and monetary aggregates in general equilibrium. A series of basic models used in modern macroeconomics are introduced, with a particular focus on dynamic general equilibrium modeling tools and techniques necessary to build theoretical models.

Linear Mathematics

Vectors, matrices and complex numbers are familiar topics from A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Their common feature is linearity. A linear mathematical operation is one which is compatible with addition and scaling.

As well as these topics you’ll study the concept of a vector space, which is fundamental to later study in abstract algebra. We will also investigate practical aspects, such as methods for solving linear systems of equations.

The module will give you the tools to analyse large systems of equations that arise in mathematical, statistical and computational models. For example, in areas such as:

  • fluid and solid mechanics
  • mathematical medicine and biology
  • mathematical finance

Your study will include:

  • complex numbers, vector algebra and geometry
  • matrix algebra, inverses, determinants
  • vector spaces, subspaces, bases
  • linear systems of simultaneous equations, Gaussian elimination
  • eigenvalues and eigenvectors, matrix diagonalisation
  • linear transformations, inner product spaces
Probability

What is the importance of probability in the modern world?

It allows us to assess risk when calculating insurance premiums. It can help when making investment decisions. It can be used to estimate the impact that government policy will have on climate change or the spread of disease.

We will look at the theory and practice of discrete and continuous probability. Your study will include:

  • sample spaces, events and counting problems
  • conditional probability, independence, Bayes’ theorem
  • random variables, expectation, variance
  • discrete and continuous probability distributions
  • multivariate random variables
  • sums of random variables, central limit theorem

These topics will help you prepare for later modules in:

  • probability methods
  • stochastic models
  • uncertainty quantification
  • mathematical finance
Statistics

Statistics is concerned with methods for collecting, organising, summarising, presenting and analysing data. It enables us to draw valid conclusions and make reasonable decisions based on the analysis. It can be used to answer a diverse range of questions such as:

  • Do the results of a clinical trial indicate that a new drug works?
  • Is the HS2 rail project likely to be cost-effective?
  • Should a company lend money to a customer with a given credit history?

In this module you’ll study statistical inference and learn how to analyse, interpret and report data. You’ll learn about the widely used statistical computer language R.

Your study will include:

  • exploratory data analysis
  • point estimators, confidence intervals
  • hypothesis testing
  • correlation, statistical inference
  • linear regression, chi-squared tests

These first-year topics give you the foundations for later related modules in:

  • statistical models and methods
  • data analysis and modelling
  • statistical machine learning
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Your time in the second year is equally split between mathematics and economics. In both subjects there is a wide range of modules to choose from.

You can specialise in different streams of maths with economics. In total you must take 60 credits of mathematics and 60 credits of economics.

Economics pathway A

Microeconomic Theory

This module covers intermediate microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of firms.

Macroeconomic Theory

This module will address both the fundamental and applied aspects of macroeconomic theory. In particular, the module will focus on:

  • introducing the modern theory of expectations and economic dynamics
  • using this approach to think about short run fluctuations
  • studying the role of macro policy on short run fluctuations

The module will review the so-called modern approach to aggregate demand and aggregate supply. This entails incorporating into the classical approach to aggregate supply and aggregate demand insights from Keynesian economics. This will serve as a base to discuss the role of macro-policy in controlling for fluctuations in output and employment. 

Or:

Economics pathway B

Microeconomic Theory

This module covers intermediate microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of firms.

Econometric Theory

The module introduces you to a range of statistical techniques that can be used to analyse the characteristics of univariate economic time series. The basic theoretical properties of time series models are discussed and we consider methods for fitting and checking the adequacy of empirical time series models. Methods of forecasting future values of economic time series are then considered. If reassessment is required, a single examination will replace all failed assessment components of the module.

Or:

Economics pathway C

Econometric Theory

The module introduces you to a range of statistical techniques that can be used to analyse the characteristics of univariate economic time series. The basic theoretical properties of time series models are discussed and we consider methods for fitting and checking the adequacy of empirical time series models. Methods of forecasting future values of economic time series are then considered. If reassessment is required, a single examination will replace all failed assessment components of the module.

Macroeconomic Theory

This module will address both the fundamental and applied aspects of macroeconomic theory. In particular, the module will focus on:

  • introducing the modern theory of expectations and economic dynamics
  • using this approach to think about short run fluctuations
  • studying the role of macro policy on short run fluctuations

The module will review the so-called modern approach to aggregate demand and aggregate supply. This entails incorporating into the classical approach to aggregate supply and aggregate demand insights from Keynesian economics. This will serve as a base to discuss the role of macro-policy in controlling for fluctuations in output and employment. 

Optional modules

Subject to your interests, you can tailor your stream with the following module choice combinations.

Applied Mathematics

How can the flight-path of a spacecraft to another planet be planned? How many fish can we catch without depleting the oceans? How long would it take a lake to recover after its pollution is stopped?

The real world is often too complicated to get exact information. Instead, mathematical models can help by providing estimates. In this module, you’ll learn how to construct and analyse differential equations which model real-life applications.

Your study will include:

  • modelling with differential equations
  • kinematics and dynamics of moving bodies
  • Newton’s laws, balance of forces
  • oscillating systems, springs, simple harmonic motion
  • work, energy and motion

You'll be able to expand on these techniques later in your degree through topics such as:

  • black holes, quantum theory
  • fluid and solid mechanics
  • mathematical medicine and biology
  • mathematical finance
Complex Functions

In this module you will learn about the theory and applications of functions of a complex variable using a method and applications approach. You will develop an understanding of the theory of complex functions and evaluate certain real integrals using your new skills.

Development Economics

This module is a general introduction to the economic problems of developing countries. The module will cover such topics as:

  • the implications of history and expectation
  • poverty, income distribution and growth
  • fertility and population
  • employment, migration and urbanisation
  • markets in agriculture
  • agricultural household models
  • risk and insurance
  • famines
Differential Equations and Fourier Analysis

This course is an introduction to Fourier series and integral transforms and to methods of solving some standard ordinary and partial differential equations which occur in applied mathematics and mathematical physics.

The course describes the solution of ordinary differential equations using series and introduces Fourier series and Fourier and Laplace transforms, with applications to differential equations and signal analysis. Standard examples of partial differential equations are introduced and solution using separation of variables is discussed.

Econometric Theory I

This module generalises and builds upon the econometric techniques covered in the year one module, Mathematical Economics and Econometrics. This will involve introducing a number of new statistical and econometric concepts, together with some further development of the methodology that was introduced in year one. The multivariate linear regression model will again provide our main framework for analysis.

Econometric Theory II

This module introduces you to a range of statistical techniques that can be used to analyse the characteristics of univariate economic time series. The basic theoretical properties of time series models are discussed and we consider methods for fitting and checking the adequacy of empirical time series models. Methods of forecasting future values of economic time series are then considered.

Environmental and Resource Economics

This modules will look at:

  • market failure and the need for environmental policy - the Coase theorem
  • instruments of environmental policy - efficiency advantages of market instruments
  • applications of market instruments, especially the EU Emission Trading Scheme
  • fisheries - the open access problem and rights-based policies
  • valuation of the benefits of environmental policy
  • biodiversity and its benefits
  • international trade in polluting goods
  • mobile capital: race to the bottom?
Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This module provides a foundation in behavioural economics and the role of experimental methods in economics. The traditional approach in economics is to explain market outcomes and economic decision-making using simple theoretical models based on perfectly rational, self-interested agents who maximise their well-being by carefully weighing up the costs and benefits of different alternatives. Behavioural economics, on the other hand, aspires to relax these stringent assumptions and develop an understanding of how real people actually make decisions.

The module will introduce you to behavioural and experimental economics, discuss these fields from a methodological perspective and examine several areas of economic analysis in which they are applied. This will include individual choice under risk and uncertainty, decision-making in strategic situations and competition in markets.

Financial Economics

This module will offer an introduction to some theoretical concepts related to the allocation of risk by financial institutions. Then it will apply these concepts to the analysis of financial and banking crises.

Foundations of Pure Mathematics

Pure mathematics at university is typically very different to the pure mathematics you've learnt at school or college. You'll use the language of sets, functions and relations to study some very abstract mathematical ideas.

In this module, we'll develop the skills of reading and writing the language of pure mathematics. You will learn techniques to build mathematical proofs in an abstract setting.

Your study will include:

  • the language of set theory
  • relations and functions
  • rational and irrational numbers
  • modular arithmetic
  • prime factorisation

These topics will provide you with the basics you need for subsequent modules in algebra, number theory and group theory.

Industrial Economics

This module provides an economic analysis of the theory and practice of organisation of firms and industries. It explores the nature of competition among firms and their behaviour in various markets, with the specific emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. Tools for both empirical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of industries are covered.

Starting from a detailed analysis of market structures, the module goes on to discuss various aspects of firms' behaviour and their influence on market outcome. Among the behaviours covered in the module are price discrimination, vertical integration, advertising, research and development activities and entry and exit of firms. Government regulation of industries is also discussed.

International Trade

This module is an introduction to international trade theory and policy. It covers the core trade theories under perfect and imperfect competition and applies them to understanding the pattern of trade, gains from trade and modern topics like foreign outsourcing. On the policy side, it examines the effects of different government trade policy instruments and the role of international trade agreements.

Introduction to Scientific Computation

This module introduces basic techniques in numerical methods and numerical analysis which can be used to generate approximate solutions to problems that may not be amenable to analysis. Specific topics include:

  • Implementing algorithms in Matlab
  • Discussion of errors (including rounding errors)
  • Iterative methods for nonlinear equations (simple iteration, bisection, Newton, convergence)
  • Gaussian elimination, matrix factorisation, and pivoting
  • Iterative methods for linear systems, matrix norms, convergence, Jacobi, Gauss-Siedel
  • Interpolation (Lagrange polynomials, orthogonal polynomials, splines)
  • Numerical differentiation & integration (Difference formulae, Richardson extrapolation, simple and composite quadrature rules)
  • Introduction to numerical ODEs (Euler and Runge-Kutta methods, consistency, stability) 
Labour Economics

This module provides an introduction to the economics of the labour market. We will look at some basic theories of how labour markets work and examine evidence to see how well these theories explain the facts.

Particular attention will be given to the relationship between the theory, empirical evidence and government policy. The module will refer especially to the UK labour market, but reference will also be made to other developed economies.

Mathematical Analysis

In this module you will build on the foundation of knowledge gained from your core year one modules in Analytical and Computational Foundations and Calculus. You will learn to follow a rigorous approach needed to produce concrete proof of your workings.

Mathematical Structures

Groups, rings and fields are abstract structures which underpin many areas of mathematics. For example, addition of integers fits the structure of a group. However, by analysing the general concept of a group, our proofs are relevant to many other areas of mathematics.

You will build on your understanding of Foundations of Pure Mathematics. Together we will develop a deeper knowledge of abstract algebraic structures, particularly groups. This provides the foundation for subsequent modules in abstract algebra and number theory.

Your study will include:

  • symmetries
  • groups, cyclic groups, Lagrange’s theorem
  • rings and fields
  • integer arithmetic, Euclid’s algorithm
  • polynomial arithmetic, factorisation
Macroeconomic Theory

This module will address both the fundamental and applied aspects of macroeconomic theory. In particular, the module will focus on:

  • introducing the modern theory of expectations and economic dynamics
  • using this approach to think about short run fluctuations
  • studying the role of macro policy on short run fluctuations

The module will review the so-called modern approach to aggregate demand and aggregate supply. This entails incorporating into the classical approach to aggregate supply and aggregate demand insights from Keynesian economics. This will serve as a base to discuss the role of macro-policy in controlling for fluctuations in output and employment. 

Microeconomic Theory

This module covers intermediate microeconomics including general equilibrium analysis, welfare economics, elementary game theory, and strategic behaviour of firms.

Monetary Economics

This course will provide a foundation for the monetary economics modules in the third year and is a complement to financial economics for the second and third years. It will cover topics such as the definitions and role of money, portfolio choice, financial markets and banks, central banks and monetary policy, and the monetary transmission mechanism. 

Under these headings the module will address issues of theory, policy and practice relating to recent experience in the UK and other countries. The module will feature some current debates and controversies based on recent events.

Political Economy

This module is concerned with the effect of political and institutional factors on economic variables as well as with the study of politics using the techniques of economics.

Probability Models and Methods

This module will give you an introduction to the theory of probability and random variables, with particular attention paid to continuous random variables. Fundamental concepts relating to probability will be discussed in detail, including well-known limit theorems and the multivariate normal distribution. You will then progress onto complex topics such as transition matrices, one-dimensional random walks and absorption probabilities.

Public Sector Economics

This module looks at:

  • public finances in the uk
  • market failures
  • fundamental theorems of welfare economics
  • social welfare functions
  • externalities
  • public goods
  • natural monopolies
  • public choice
  • social insurance: social security, taxation and equity
  • excess burden of taxation and tax incidence
Statistical Models and Methods

The first part of this module provides an introduction to statistical concepts and methods and the second part introduces a wide range of techniques used in a variety of quantitative subjects. The key concepts of inference including estimation and hypothesis testing will be described as well as practical data analysis and assessment of model adequacy.

Vector Calculus

This course aims to give students a sound grounding in the application of both differential and integral calculus to vectors, and to apply vector calculus methods and separation of variables to the solution of partial differential equations. The module is an important pre-requisite for a wide range of other courses in Applied Mathematics.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

As in year two your time is equally divided between both disciplines with a wide range of optional modules in mathematics and economics.

Optional mathematics modules

Applied Statistical Modelling

In this module you will build on your theoretical knowledge of statistical inference by a practical implementation of the generalised linear model. You will move on to enhance your understanding of statistical methodology including the analysis of discrete and survival data. You will also be trained in the use of a high-level statistical computer program.

Coding and Cryptography

This course provides an introduction to coding theory in particular to error-correcting codes and their uses and applications. It also provides an introduction to to cryptography, including classical mono- and polyalphabetic ciphers as well as modern public key cryptography and digital signatures, their uses and applications.

Data Analysis and Modelling

This module involves the application of probability and statistics to a variety of practical, open-ended problems, typical of those that statisticians encounter in industry and commerce. Specific projects are tackled through workshops and student-led group activities.

The real-life nature of the problems requires students to develop skills in model development and refinement, report writing and teamwork. Students will have an opportunity to apply a variety of statistical methods and knowledge learned in previous modules.

.

Game Theory
Game theory contains many branches of mathematics (and computing); the emphasis here is primarily algorithmic. The module starts with an investigation into normal-form games, including strategic dominance, Nash equilibria, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma. We look at tree-searching, including alpha-beta pruning, the ‘killer’ heuristic and its relatives. It then turns to mathematical theory of games; exploring the connection between numbers and games, including Sprague-Grundy theory and the reduction of impartial games to Nim.
Graph Theory

A graph (in the sense used in Graph Theory) consists of vertices and edges, each edge joining two vertices. Graph Theory has become increasingly important recently through its connections with computer science and its ability to model many practical situations. 

Topics covered in the course include:

  • paths and cycles
  • the resolution of Euler’s Königsberg Bridge Problem
  • Hamiltonian cycles
  • trees and forests
  • labelled trees,
  • the Prüfer correspondence
  • planar graphs
  • Demoucron et al. algorithm
  • Kruskal's algorithm
  • the Travelling Salesman's problem
  • the statement of the four-colour map theorem
  • colourings of vertices
  • chromatic polynomial
  • colourings of edges.
Linear Analysis

This module gives an introduction into some basic ideas of functional analysis with an emphasis on Hilbert spaces and operators on them.

Many concepts from linear algebra in finite dimensional vector spaces (e.g. writing a vector in terms of a basis, eigenvalues of a linear map, diagonalisation etc.) have generalisations in the setting of infinite dimensional spaces making this theory a powerful tool with many applications in pure and applied mathematics

Mathematical Finance

In this module the concepts of discrete time Markov chains are explored and used to provide an introduction to probabilistic and stochastic modelling for investment strategies, and for the pricing of financial derivatives in risky markets. You will gain well-rounded knowledge of contemporary issues which are of importance in research and applications.

Metric and Topological Spaces

Metric space generalises the concept of distance familiar from Euclidean space. It provides a notion of continuity for functions between quite general spaces.

The module covers metric spaces, topological spaces, compactness, separation properties like Hausdorffness and normality, Urysohn’s lemma, quotient and product topologies, and connectedness. Finally, Borel sets and measurable spaces are introduced.

Multivariate Analysis

This module is concerned with the analysis of multivariate data, in which the response is a vector of random variables rather than a single random variable. A theme running through the module is that of dimension reduction. Key topics to be covered include: principal components analysis, whose purpose is to identify the main modes of variation in a multivariate dataset; modelling and inference for multivariate data, including multivariate regression data, based on the multivariate normal distribution; classification of observation vectors into sub-populations using a training sample; canonical correlation analysis, whose purpose is to identify dependencies between two or more sets of random variables. Further topics to be covered include factor analysis, methods of clustering and multidimensional scaling.

Optimisation

In this module a variety of techniques and areas of mathematical optimisation will be covered including Lagrangian methods for optimisation, simplex algorithm linear programming and dynamic programming. You’ll develop techniques for application which can be used outside the mathematical arena. 

Statistical Inference

This course is concerned with the two main theories of statistical inference, namely classical (frequentist) inference and Bayesian inference. 

Topics such as sufficiency, estimating equations, likelihood ratio tests and best-unbiased estimators are explored in detail. There is special emphasis on the exponential family of distributions, which includes many standard distributions such as the normal, Poisson, binomial and gamma.

In Bayesian inference, there are three basic ingredients: a prior distribution, a likelihood and a posterior distribution, which are linked by Bayes' theorem. Inference is based on the posterior distribution, and topics including conjugacy, vague prior knowledge, marginal and predictive inference, decision theory, normal inverse gamma inference, and categorical data are pursued.

Common concepts, such as likelihood and sufficiency, are used to link and contrast the two approaches to inference. You will gain experience of the theory and concepts underlying much contemporary research in statistical inference and methodology.

Stochastic Models

In this module you will develop your knowledge of discrete-time Markov chains by applying them to a range of stochastic models. You will be introduced to Poisson and birth-and-death processes and then you will move onto more extensive studies of epidemic models and queuing models with introductions to component and system reliability.

Time Series Analysis

This module will provide a general introduction to the analysis of data that arise sequentially in time. Several commonly-occurring models will be discussed and their properties derived, along with methods for model identification for real-time series data. You will develop techniques for estimating the parameters of a model, assessing its fit and forecasting future values. You will also gain experience of using a statistical package and interpreting its output.

Mathematics Project

This module consists of a self-directed investigation of a project selected from a list of projects or, subject to prior approval of the School, from elsewhere.

Project modules are carried out in the Autumn and Spring semesters.

The project will be supervised by a member of staff and will be based on a substantial mathematical problem, an application of mathematics or investigation of an area of mathematics not previously studied by the student. The course includes training in the use of IT resources, the word-processing of mathematics and report writing.

Optional economics modules

Advanced Econometric Theory

This module generalises and builds upon the material covered in the Econometric Theory I and II. In the first part of the module, we study large sample, or asymptotic, theory. This is needed in order to obtain tractable results about the behaviour of estimators and tests when the standard modelling assumptions - which frequently cannot be verified in practice - are relaxed.

The second part of the module continues the time series analysis taken in Econometric Theory II, with the emphasis on the behaviour of typical economic time series, and the implications of that behaviour in practical analysis, such as the construction of models linking economic time series. The key issues addressed will be the identification of non-stationarity through the construction of formal tests and the implications for modelling with non-stationary data.

Particular attention will be paid to the contributions of Sir Clive Granger to the spurious regression problem and to cointegration analysis, for which he was ultimately awarded the Nobel Prize.

Advanced Experimental and Behavioural Economics

This module discusses aspects of some of the main sub-areas of experimental and behavioural economics. This includes applications related to individual decision-making, strategic behaviour and market behaviour.

The module encourages reflection on both the role of experiments in economics and the assumptions that economics does (and should) make about people’s motivations. Both experimental economics and behavioural economics are still comparatively new fields within the wider discipline.

The module considers their potential and main achievements, relative to more traditional economic techniques. It encourages development of critical skills and reflection on specific research contributions in experimental and behavioural economics.

Advanced Development Economics

This module adopts a broad focus on factors influencing growth and development, concentrating on core economic policy areas and the role of international organisations.

Topics covered include macroeconomic policies, in particular exchange rates and the role of the IMF; aid policy and the World Bank, effects of aid on growth, macroeconomic and fiscal policy, and poverty; trade policy and performance and the WTO; economic reforms and growth experiences in East Asia, China and Africa; human development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Advanced Financial Economics

The module covers:

  • saving, focusing on how agents make intertemporal decisions about their savings and wealth accumulation
  • saving puzzles and household portfolios, focusing on credit markets and credit markets imperfections, and why do households hold different kinds of assets
  • asset allocation and asset pricing, focusing on intertemporal portfolio selection, asset pricing and the equity premium puzzle
  • bond markets and fixed income securities
  • the term structure of interest rates
  • the role of behavioural finance in explaining stock market puzzles
Advanced Industrial Economics

This module provides an advanced economic analysis of the theory of organisation of firms and industries. It will analyse a variety of market structures related to the degree of market competition with a special emphasis on imperfectly competitive markets. It will also analyse issues related to the internal organisation of firms.

Advanced International Trade I

This module looks at trade policy economic policy for trade and international factor mobility: theory and evidence, trade policy and imperfect competition, trade and distortions, the political economy of protection and trade policy reform.

Advanced International Trade II

This module covers:

  • Models of intra-industry trade
  • Trade policy in oligopolistic industries
  • Multinational Enterprises
  • Testing trade theories
  • The WTO and "new issues"
Advanced Labour Economics

The module covers an economic analysis of the labour market, with an emphasis on policy implications and institutional arrangements.

Advanced Mathematical Economics

The module is intended to provide an introduction to mathematical techniques used in economics. In particular, examples of economic issues that can be analysed using mathematical models will be discussed in detail.

Particular attention will be given to providing an intuitive understanding of the logic behind the formal results presented.

Advanced Macroeconomics

This module covers:

  • dynamic general equilibrium models, focusing on how the time path of consumption, and saving, is determined by optimising agents and firms that interact on competitive markets
  • growth in dynamic general equilibrium, focusing on the Solow model and the data, and the role played by accumulation of knowledge (endogenous innovation) in explaining long run growth
  • Real Business Cycles (RBC), focusing on how the RBC approach accounts for business cycle fluctuations, and what links short run fluctuations and growth processes
Advanced Microeconomics

The module will cover topics in advanced microeconomics and decision theory. The precise content may vary from year to year, but the module will start from the basis established by the Microeconomic Theory module.

Advanced Monetary Economics

This module provides a rigorous introduction to formal models of money in the macroeconomy. Following this, applications for areas of central banking, finance and international macroeconomics will be explored.

Advanced Political Economy

This module covers: 

  • Foundations:
    • The rational political individual?
    • Voter participation
    • Collective action and the role of the state
  • Core Political Economy:
    • The economic approach to politics
    • Political aspects of economics: rights and the limits of the state
    • Political aspects of economics: inequality and the duties of the state
  • Political Economy in Action:
    • Political economy in action: some current issues in political economy
Dissertation Project

Every student will undertake a project in year three. This may be a laboratory-based investigation, an educational development or a literature review. A choice of topics will be available and a staff supervisor will be allocated to you to guide you through the process. The project allows you to demonstrate your ability to undertake and complete a substantial piece of work. This requires good time management and organisational skills. Students who submit work of a sufficient quality will be encouraged post-graduation to present it at a conference or have their work published. 

Economic Policy Analysis I

This module will introduce you to economic policy analysis. It will focus on the role played by different institutional rules in shaping the behaviour of elected governments by providing incentives to elected governments.

Economic Policy Analysis II

The module will cover post-crisis monetary policy; controlling money markets with excess reserves; spillovers of QE; effects of QE on asset and credit markets; low real equilibrium interest rates; uncertainty in monetary policy.

International Money and Macroeconomics

This module will provide an introduction to international monetary issues, including the determination of exchange rates and international spill-over effects. 

Microeconometric Methods

This module focuses on a range of econometric methods used in policy evaluation and in the identification and estimation of causal effects. Topics to be covered include:

  • potential outcomes framework
  • regression analysis and matching
  • instrumental variables
  • difference-in-differences
  • regression discontinuity
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.
  • Become a PASS leader in your second or third year. Teaching first-year students reinforces your own mathematical knowledge. It develops communication, organisational and time management skills which can help to enhance your CV when you start applying for jobs
  • The Nottingham Internship Scheme provides a range of  paid work experience opportunities and internships throughout the year
  • The Nottingham Advantage Award is our free scheme to boost your employability. There are over 200 extracurricular activities to choose from
  • Nottingham MathSoc offers students a chance to enjoy various activities with like minded individuals also studying mathematics. Examples of events are balls, river cruises, sport and other social activities
  • Nottingham Economics and Finance Society (NEFS) offers sporting, careers and social activities too.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

£19,000*
Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies.

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. You will be given £5 worth of printer credits a year. You are welcome to buy more credits if you need them. It costs 4p to print one black and white page.

If you study abroad, you need to consider the travel and living costs associated with your country of choice. This may include visa costs and medical insurance. 

Personal laptops are not compulsory as we have computer labs that are open 24 hours a day but you may want to consider one if you wish to work at home.  

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer an international orientation scholarship of £1,000 to the best international (full-time, non EU) applicants on this course.

It will be paid at most once for each year of study. If you repeat a year for any reason, the scholarship will not be paid for that repeated year. The scholarship is awarded in subsequent years to students who perform well academically (at the level of a 2:1 Hons degree or better at the first attempt). 

The scholarship will be paid in December each year provided you have:

  • completed your registration
  • been recorded as a student on a relevant course in the 1 December census
  • paid the first instalment of your fee

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Our mathematics and economics graduates gain a range of specialist and transferable skills, including the ability to grasp complex economic concepts, both mathematical and philosophical.

This will prepare you for a professional career in a wide variety of fields such as government, international agencies, private sector organisations or education.

Our graduates have gone to work for companies such as:

  • Barclays
  • Grant Thornton
  • JP Morgan
  • KPMG
  • London Stock Exchange Group
  • Sainsbury's

Average starting salary and career progression

83.8% of undergraduates from the School of Mathematical Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £26,985.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.